KC Missouri Music Festival Travel Guide 2018
Kansas City is home to four diverse music festival experiences. In fact, one of the longest-running music festivals in the U.S. is the rock and heavy metal extravaganza, Rockfest KC.
Additionally, if you’re not a rock fan then KC also has the EDM fan favorite DanceFestopia. The DanceFestopia producers, Borda Productions, also produce KC’s only country music festival, TumbleWeed. Lastly, family-friendly Boulevardia is the perfect way to celebrate Father’s Day weekend with good food, craft beer, and live music.
KC VIBE & CULTURE
KC sits on Missouri’s western edge, straddling the border with Kansas. It’s known for its barbecue, jazz heritage, and fountains. Downtown, the American Jazz Museum shares a building with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in the historic 18th & Vine Jazz District. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, with giant shuttlecocks out front, houses nearly 40,000 works of art, from ancient to contemporary collections.
HOMETOWN HISTORY FACTS THAT MAKE KC SPECIAL
The Santa Fe, California and Oregon trails originated in the KC metro, a tradition celebrated annually at the Santa-Cali-Gon Days festival. Interestingly, Walt Disney opened his first animation studio in Kansas City, Laugh-O-Gram Studio, where he fed a small rodent that became the inspiration for Mickey Mouse. Hallmark, the largest greeting card maker in the world, began in KC in 1910 when Joyce C. Hall started selling postcards out of two shoeboxes at the local YMCA. KC “ignored” Prohibition during the 1920s, leading to an abundance of jazz clubs, brothels, and gambling halls, earning KC the moniker “The Paris of the Plains.”
Kansas City, Missouri Music Festival Guide
ROCKFEST KC 2018
WHEN: June 2, 2018
LOCATION: KC Speedway
TICKET PRICING: $159-$349
Rockfest is an outdoor, hard rock music festival held annually at the Liberty Memorial by Kansas City radio station KQRC-FM 98.9 the Rock. As of 2010, it was considered to be North America’s largest one-day music festival. Major bands such as Godsmack, Staind, Seether, Stone Temple Pilots, Korn and Alice in Chains have all headlined Rockfest. The large size and rain or shine ethos of the concert have led to community disputes regarding its continuation.
DanceFestopia Music Festival 2018
WHEN: September 6-9, 2018
TICKET PRICING: $159-$349
Experience ‘Dancefestopia– Emerald City’, an incredibly magical 4-night festival where the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true. DFT is surrounded by rolling hills, lakes, and a magical forest just south of Kansas City. Imagine a Dancefestopia where there isn’t a separation of Forest and Field camping. We are all one, together in the manicured Forest – glowing magically under the twinkling trail lights.
Imagine DFT nestled in rolling hills surrounded by thousands of acres of forest and pristine lake water – bound together tightly with the incredible vibes you’ve come to Love about Dancefest. Imagine an Emerald City that is built with the conveniences of running water, electricity, camping cabins, a swimming pool, and stunning views. Dancefestopians… we have discovered an amazing new home.
Dancefestopia VII is the Ultimate Dance Music Festival featuring over 100 DJ’s, incredible camping, and crazy cool activities. Located just South of Kansas City.
Tumbleweed Country Music Festival
WHEN: June 15-16, 20118
LOCATION: 7095 W 399TH ST, LACYGNE, KS 66040
TICKET PRICING: $69-$399
Tumbleweed is America’s real country music festival! Two days and three nights of incredible country music and camping in the heart of America. Tickets & Information at TumbleweedCountry.com. June 14-16th, 2018 // Just South of Kansas City! Purchase tickets now before they sell out!!
“Top-23 Country Music Festival in the USA” – Wide Open Country, 2018 –
“One of the most anticipated events in the entirety of 2017” – Saving Country Music
“Best Moment in Country Music” – 2017 Editor’s Choice Award, Country Music Armadillo \
“Tumbleweed features some of the best names in outlaw country, both modern and legendary.” – Wide Open Country, 2017
#1 Ranked “Thing to Do in Kansas City” by 435 Magazine in September 2016
Boulevardia Music Festival
WHEN: June 15-16, 2018
LOCATION: 1600 Genessee KC, Missouri
The two-day beer-centric fest is scheduled for Friday, June 15 and Saturday, June 16 in the Stockyards District, the area surrounding the Livestock Exchange Building at 1600 Genessee St. in the West Bottoms.
TICKET PRICING: $25 GA
14th Annual KKFI’S CROSSROADS MUSIC FESTIVAL
WHEN: September 8, 2018 Noon to 2 AM
The Crossroads Music Fest has acted as one of the most reliably thorough surveys of Kansas City’s music scene since 2005. The 2018 edition boasts unusually dynamic firepower. Featuring 30+ artists at eight venues in a three-block area – is a fundraiser 90.1 FM – Kansas City Community Radio. Headliners include Radkey with Quixotic performers and Hembree at recordBar beginning at 10 p.m., but the fireworks will be blasting through the district all day and night. The day begins at 11 a.m. with MixMaster at the Exchange at The Lead Bank; shifts to day parties from noon- 5 p.m. at Brewery Emperial and Josey Records; turns toward evening at 6 p.m. with City of Drums and three drum lines in preparation for the CMFKC rock fest.816-931-3122.
BEST HOTEL IN DOWNTOWN KC FOR THE VIP EXPERIENCE
An iconic hotel with an illustrious past. Originally established in 1931, this Kansas City hotel was once the tallest building in town, standing 20 stories high and boasting 400 guest rooms. Today, Hotel Phillips offers 216 elegant guest rooms and is on the National Register of Historic Places, yet it maintains much of the historic charm and original Art Deco features which make it a true gem in the heart of downtown.
Hotel Phillips Kansas City, Curio Collection by Hilton, is owned by Arbor Lodging Partners and managed by Arbor Lodging Management. The boutique hotel is located in downtown Kansas City. The hotel opened its doors in 1931 and recently completed a $20-million renovation that touched nearly every aspect of the hotel. The 20-story hotel has 216 guestrooms and suites, eclectic dining and beverage offerings at its three onsite venues
An art lover’s paradise, Hotel Phillips offers beauty around every corner. Original Art Deco features include elaborate bronze and nickel metalwork, lustrous walnut paneling, stylish light fixtures, 20-story mail chute, and the goddess Dawn statue overlooking the lobby.
Best Italian Restaurant in KC (Inside Hotel Philips)
Tavernonna celebrates the rich, varied history of Italian food, wine, and cocktails by using fresh, simple ingredients to create both traditional and contemporary dishes that entice the senses. Executive Chef, Bryant Wigger has sourced ingredients from local farms and vendors to be showcased throughout the menu, giving the restaurant a clear sense of its locality while honoring the distinctive ingredients rooted in Italy.
P.S. SPEAKEASY (Inside Hotel Philips)
Hidden from the long arm of Prohibition-era law, Kansas City’s speakeasies welcomed revelers seeking good spirits and a spirited good time. An affectionate nod to the city’s glamorous, freewheeling nightlife, P.S. is Hotel Phillips’ contemporary incarnation of the 1930’s speakeasy, artfully crafting cocktails concealed in a long-forgotten basement mail sorting room, accessible only by an unmarked door. Under the radar, underground and undercover, P.S. celebrates its USPS roots, delivering today’s imbibers nothing short of a certified first-class experience.
Best BBQ in KC
Rob Magee got hooked on cooking at an early age and took his skills to the highest level with a degree from the acclaimed Culinary Institute of America. Working his trade in some of the finest kitchens across the country, he would always make it a point to honor the tastes of whatever region he was in. So when he moved to Kansas City, he naturally became obsessed with mastering the glories of KC barbeque.
While still working as executive chef for Hilton, he assembled a competition team in his spare time called the Munchin Hogs. They didn’t just enter contests for fun, they ascended to the highest level of competitive barbeque in events across the country against the toughest teams — the real major leagues. Over a ten-year span, they won a whole array of competitions and national championships. And Rob never tired of learning, honing his skill as an explorer of tastes and flavors, devising original sauces and rubs, always experimenting further and always using only the finest scratch ingredients. Competition barbeque is distinctive in that it’s all about serving food to finicky judges at its optimal window of perfection. Techniques for maintaining moisture, for example, had to be mastered that go far beyond the capabilities of most barbeque joints.
BEST PIZZA IN KC
Il Lazzarone Pizza
412 Delaware St. KC, MO
Il Lazzarone Pizza is by far the best pizza in KC. We at FestPop travel the world and we can confirm the pizza tasted just like what we experienced in Naples, Italy. I had to investigate further and I spoke with the owner, Erik Borger showed me they were certified by the Neapolitan Pizza Association. I didn’t even know that was a thing. So I dug deeper and called some associates in Naples. This is what I discovered. In Naples, the government strictly regulates ingredients and techniques, as certified by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, which translated is the True Neapolitan Pizza Association. Some requirements are as follows: Caputo “00” grade flour, yeast, sea salt, and water are stretched into a thin, pliable crust that serves as a minimalist canvas.
“Anybody can make it their own by putting a spin on it, but I’d rather re-create something that is not available here,” says Borger, whose Delaware St. location became only the 506th member worldwide.
FUN ACTIVITIES BEFORE OR AFTER YOUR FAVORITE KC MUSIC FESTIVAL
Boulevard Brewing Company Tour
Founded in 1989, Boulevard Brewing Company has grown to become the largest specialty brewer in the Midwest. Our mission is simple: to produce fresh, flavorful beers using the finest ingredients and the best of both old and new brewing techniques. Click the link to learn what drove Boulevard founder John McDonald, and how we got where we are today.
Sold in 38 states and the District of Columbia. As reported by the Brewers Association, combined US sales with Brewery Ommegang and Duvel imports Total brewing capacity: 600,000 bbls. Total fermentation capacity: more than 300,000 bbls Year Established and Founder: 1989, John McDonald.
National World War I Museum and Memorial
Tuesday – Sunday
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Daily, Memorial Day-Labor Day
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Sunday – Friday)
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Saturday)
National Geographic said it best, “The 217-foot-high Liberty Memorial Tower leaves an indelible impression on those who see it, especially at night when the Flame of Inspiration shines over the skyline. While it’s worthy of a visit to admire its architectural beauty alone, the National World War I Museum underneath the structure delivers historical context with artifacts and personal stories from the century-old conflict.”
The National World War I Museum and Memorial is America’s leading institution dedicated to remembering, interpreting and understanding the Great War and its enduring impact on the global community. The Museum fulfills its mission by:
- Maintaining the Liberty Memorial as a beacon of freedom and a symbol of the courage, patriotism, sacrifice, and honor of all who served in World War I.
- Interpreting the history of World War I to encourage public involvement and informed decision-making.
- Providing exhibitions and educational programs that engage diverse audiences.
- Collecting and preserving historical materials with the highest professional standards.
MUSEUMS are alive and well throughout DowntownKC
Including these 16 destinations:
- Airline History Museum in Hangar 9 at the Downtown Airport
- American Jazz Museum in the historic 18th & Vine Jazz District
- American Royal Museum in the West Bottoms
- Arabia Steamboat Museum in the City Market
- Black Archives of Mid-America in the historic 18th & Vine Jazz District
- Hallmark Visitors Center at Crown Center
- Historic Garment District Museum in the Downtown Loop at 801 Broadway
- Kansas City Museum in northeast KC at 3218 Gladstone Blvd.
- Money Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
- National Archives of Kansas City, west of Union Station
- National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame at the Sprint Center
- The National WWI Museum and Memorial at Liberty Memorial
- Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in the historic 18th & Vine Jazz District
- Science City at Union Station
- TWA Museum at the Downtown Airport
- Union Station Gallery at Union Station
NIGHTLIFE | KC’s WESTPORT DISTRICT
IS THE PLACE TO BE AFTER HOURS
Westport is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Kansas City, located roughly between 39th Terrace and 43rd Street to the north and south and Main Street and the SW Trafficway to the east and west. Originally called West Port, the neighborhood got its name as it was the westernmost village where settlers stocked up before venturing into the Kansas Territory. Today the neighborhood is known for its blend of tasty eateries, trendy boutiques, and popular nighttime hot spots. By day, Westport buzzes with residents and tourists but really comes to life at night as the restaurants and bars fill up.
Best Hotel in WestPort
816 is not just a boutique hotel but a hotel remodeled in 2014 as an experience into KC culture and history. There are 20 Kansas City-themed rooms were designed by some of Kansas City’s best-known entities — Boulevard Brewing Co., Kelly’s Westport Inn, the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial, the Kansas City Zoo, and Trans World Airlines (TWA). The other 87 rooms have at least four historical photos.
THE RIOT ROOM 4048 Broadway
Kansas City, MO 64111
Notorious underground live music venue was an amazing experience. One room there was a bad-ass rock n roll bad then outside in the patio there was a DJ playing techno. THE RIOT ROOM was founded in 2008 by KC Brothers, Tim & Dallas Gutschenritter. THE RIOT ROOM is a beer emporium with indoor and patio stages; each with an occupancy limit of 300. The list of performers is constantly changing, so make sure you check the website calendar for schedules and tickets. Located in Kansas City’s Westport entertainment district. Visit Official Website